The Gift of Staying In

When Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday, March 23, that New Zealand would go into “Lock Down” for four weeks, I was at a café with a friend having lunch. Life was about to change in a big way for everyone. I felt uncertain and anxious about what this would mean. 

While the last eight weeks was an unusual and stressful time for New Zealand, as a country we did what we had to do during this time to reduce the number of deaths and save lives! The repercussions financially and mentally will stay with us for years. I was one of those weirdos who looked at the four weeks of restrictions as a gift. 

clock and cup

Slowing down  

Level Four felt similar to a shitty winter in Wellington and at the beginning I wasn’t ready for it. The optimist in me was trying to see the positives in this, however I struggled with my mental wellbeing in the first week and a half as we set about trying to create a new normal. The first week I binge watched a lot of streamed programmes. I wasn’t in the headspace to do anything else. 

Locked down sounded restrictive and made me feel uncomfortable so I started called it “Staying In” and while I wouldn’t call it a holiday, these two words helped with the mind set during this time. Suddenly I could see the benefits of what I could do during this time.  
I used the time to; 

  • Sort out a few spaces in the home. We moved furniture; decluttered the home office, scullery and garage.  
  • Rethink how I wanted the rest of my 2020 to look and feel!  
  • Take a break from social media. 
  • Stopped reading the news online and would only tune in for 1.00pm updates and the first 15 minutes of the news.  
  • Decluttered craft supplies. 
  • Continued to exercise. 
  • Read voraciously.  
  • Embraced my creativity, made candles, collaged and doodled in my art journal. 

I savoured the creativity time in the evenings; it helped to ground me, made me mindful, and calmed me when life felt tumultuous.  

two journals and two pencils

Change of Direction 

I discovered during this time that the downside of no longer being sleep deprived, eating well and exercising consistently was having an abundance of energy and the drive to live life at 100km an hour!  Prior to staying in, I can see how I was slipping back into busyness of life and spending more time in the “doing” energy and giving away “being” time.  

I realised that my sleep deprivation had been a gift of sorts. It meant I could only focus on one thing at a time because mentally and physically I couldn’t cope with a lot on my plate. 

While there is nothing wrong with slipping back into my old ways, I realised that I don’t want to carry on living like that anymore. I liked the life and flow I had created in 2019, which still allowed me to achieve my goals in 2019 without burnout.  

Having the space without the distraction of a busy life gave me the opportunity to pause. To tap into my inner wisdom and reconnect to self.  I came to the realisation that my original plans for 2020 no longer held the same spark for me. Those plans were what my old self wanted to achieve so I could say I was a success! It allowed me to explore what makes me happy and for now that is writing!   

When I write I am in my joyous place and I am excited to see what may come from that. Will it make me a shitload of money! Realistically probably not unless I got a big book deal or advance to write a book! Will it make me famous? No! However, that’s not why I want to write. I write to share my experiences and if it inspires or educates or helps another woman then that means more to me than anything else.  

red thread heart

The Heart of The Home 

Another spin-off of level three and four is Mike, and I continued to lose weight. We discovered new suppliers for our meat and vegetables and had them delivered throughout level four.  

We were mindful of what we’re eating, not wasting food because we could nip down to the supermarket to buy something new or replace it. Our menu planning was focussed and outlined all three meals for a week and it made the shopping once every eight or nine days easy for Mike.  
It made us more creative in the kitchen, if we ran out of an ingredient, we would substitute it with something else or do without. We made more meals from scratch and started using up the supplies in our freezer and pantry. We tried a lot of new recipes and enjoyed what we ate. 

turkey and raw salad vegetables

When we were told we were moving to level three; I was extremely excited that we could have takeaways such as Subway, Indian and good old Fish and chips. These meals tasted so good! I think this was because someone else had to make them other than Mike and I. 

I enjoyed having Mike work from home. We would have “smoko” breaks during the day and eat lunch together. I got used to having him home and going for walks around the neighbourhood with him. I was a little sad when my bubble buddy returned to his city office in Level 2.  

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